It is strange to talk about music in terms of temperature but since being shared and sharing this band with others, the description and atmosphere of coldness reaching the point of ice is an apt description. Xenotaph is a west coast black metal project supported by the ritualistic Transylvanian Tapes. Media Morte in Vita Sumus is the debut full length after a brief round with a demo and split and proposes to be many peoples introduction into the cold unforgiving world of Xenotaph.
Going a step further into other projects from the members of Xenotaph opens a world of frigid hate. Dearth is a black/death project from the vocalist while two of the members come from the now disbanded Torture Chamber. All of this archival work is only to illustrate the fact that Xenotaph lies at the bottom of some subterranean chamber where the ideas of terror haven’t prepared one fully for what lies below. Though not entirely devoid of melody such in the atmospheric black shaded “Burning Core of the Psyche,” Xenotaph manages to stay chilly while being stylish in their despair. The entire record is a wonderful dive into a band that doesn’t lean on atmosphere rather fully employs it as a tool to deliver fantastic music.
Media Morte in Vita Sumus is a successful introduction to Xenotaph as well as any other projects one chooses to follow. Bay area black and death metal is a reliable place along with other hubs like Portland have become fine exporters of some fantastic hatred in musical form. I am sure one could conjure image of blazing fires during this record yet the coldness which is exuded is more like a vacuum which saps the heat and warmth of the living.